Dungeness redevelopment vital step forward for Hinchinbrook

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto is fully supportive of Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s proposal to dredge Enterprise Channel at Dungeness and recreate a historic spit that has since eroded away.

A VISIONARY proposal to develop Dungeness into a boating precinct by opening up Enterprise Channel, recreating a historic spit, expanding the car park and installing a viewing platform will be fully funded if Katter’s Australian Party finds itself in a position of power after the next State election, says Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto.

In what marks the first official promise of his re-election campaign, Mr Dametto said he wanted to make his position on the importance of the project “crystal clear”.

“This October, I will recontest the seat of Hinchinbrook. A lot of hard work over the last two years has gone into getting the ball rolling on some great projects in the electorate and I’m determined to see them through,” he said.

“For generations, locals have been calling out for a project like this. You would be hard pressed to find a boatie from Hinchinbrook that wouldn’t want to see all-tidal access at Lucinda. Building marine infrastructure like this will also help expand our existing tourism industry which I believe is critical to the future of our region.

“The development of this marine precinct will put us on the national map, drawing people to the region. Hinchinbrook’s world class fishing spots, when coupled with all-tidal access, will transform Hinchinbrook Shire and I am backing council’s current proposal 100 per cent.”

The project aims to improve marine access and safe harbor at Dungeness and protect the Dungeness sand spit from further erosion.

Mr Dametto said he was also fully supportive of council’s Dungeness Boat Ramp Carpark and Recreation Area Refurbishment project, which would see a further 190 car/trailer parking spaces created, the installation of a highset viewing platform with binoculars, a CCTV link to allow for real-time public viewing from a council domain, pedestrian all-access footpath works and the erection of shade sails over the existing fishing platform.

Council has recently made it past the EOI stage under Round 5 of the State’s Building Our Regions Funding Program and has now reached Stage 2 which require them to undertake a business case to justify State expenditure.

“This is exactly the kind of project that is needed to accommodate the extra anglers and trailer boats that our tourism campaigns are attracting to Lucinda. On a good day, the demand for parking already surpasses our current offering,” Mr Dametto said.

“I will continue to lobby the State for a favourable outcome but if council is unsuccessful with their application and the KAP finds itself in a position of power after the next state election, one of my non-negotiables will be that the money is there for this project. It’s vital it goes ahead together with the dredging of Enterprise Channel.”

Mr Dametto said it was critical councils and their State Member challenged the status quo and stood up to State and Federal governments and their departments when it came to policies or decisions that were not in the best interests of their constituents.

“When it comes to growing our region, we need elected representatives at all three levels of politics – local, State and Federal – willing to pull in the same direction to drive those game-changing, big ticket-projects. We don’t always get a yes the first time but that doesn’t mean we should just give up,” he said.

“The same can be said for other issues that require addressing within the community. I mean if council listened to the State Labor Government’s advice on dealing with the plague of flying foxes in Ingham earlier this year, no dispersal program would have ever taken place. The same goes for the goat problem on Pelorus Island.

“You need a proactive council who can work with their State and Federal counterparts to drive positive change. Roads, rates and rubbish just don’t cut it anymore. The community expects all levels of government to have a vision for the region and are happy to see their tax dollars and rate dollars go towards achieving that.

“Let’s make it happen.”

Nick Dametto MP